Last month we featured Finland’s Barbe-Q-Barbies as a Band of the Week and Katja and Kaisa graciously consented to an interview as well which we present to you here. Enjoy as we talk about the music scene in Finland, being women in the rock and roll game and what the band is up to as they prepare to unleash their debut album on the world. And don’t forget to check out the Band of the Week feature with a free download of the band’s track Escort.
RRR: Is it getting easier for an all girl band to be treated seriously these days are do sexist attitudes still prevail in rock and roll?
Katja: I don’t think it has never been an issue for us. Overall we’ve been treated really well and I haven’t noticed any gender related” problems”. Most people see us as a good rock ‘n roll band, not as a group of chicks. Of course there’s sometimes guys at gigs yelling something like “Show us tits” etc. but we don’t take it too seriously, the good sense of humour is the key. ?
Kaisa: Of course there still are certain attitudes and preconceptions about female rock bands, I think partly because it still is a relatively new phenomenon, women playing rock’n’roll, that is. One of the things we enjoy is to prove those prejudices wrong the second our show starts J
RRR: What is the music scene like in Finland?
Katja: Quite diverse I’d say. A lot of different kinds of bands, genres and gigs/festivals/happenings going on around here all the year round. Finland is often seen as a heavy metal country which is also true; we have some great metal bands but other genres such as old school rock and punk, are going on strong too. You can discover very good new bands on regular basis and it’s amazing how good some young kids are musically for example; there are definitely some genious’ among us waiting to break through.
Kaisa: Very versatile, I think. There are lots of good bands and if you also care to listen to other radio stations besides those playing the same hits over and over again, you can find a lot of great stuff!
RRR: I love your sound. It definitely smacks of old style rock and roll. What are your musical influences?
Katja: Bandwise our musical influences pretty much come from some of the biggest rock bands there is, such as AC/DC, Motörhead, Kiss, Girlschool, L7 and so on. On personal level we all have somewhat different back grounds. I started with classical music in my early childhood) and sang in a choir during my years in the music institute and I see that as a good basis for any type of music making and ideas. Also I’ve always listened to heavy metal so of course I get a lot of inspiration from there too. I mostly play with heavy metal bass with a cool metallic sound & distortion.
Kaisa: We all have somewhat different influences and favourite bands, and that is what makes our sound the way it is. At least AC/DC, KISS, Motörhead and Runaways have some kind of influence in our music.
RRR: All this web 2.0 technology like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and iLike make it easier to get a bands music out these days. How do you use this technology and how do you keep up with it?
Katja: We have MySpace and Facebook band pages and also a FB group page. These sites definitely make it easier for bands to get the word out and we find them very useful.
Kaisa: Basically many people have gotten to know our stuff via MySpace, for example. Since we still haven’t got our record out it is a great way to put our songs in the net where people can go and listen to them.
RRR: What are the band’s plans for the remainder of this year and for next? When will we see you in North America?
Katja: We’re currently making our first full lenght studio album so that takes most of our time now among some gigs. It’d be excellent to come to States!
Kaisa: At the moment we are in studio recording our debut album. After that we hope to get gigs outside Finland, too, and of course it would be great to come to the U.S.!
RRR: OK I kind of have an idea of where you are going with the name but tell me how it came to pass and what does it mean?
Katja: Our drummer Niina came up with the name while watching Soundgarden’s music video “Black Hole Sun” where a little girl is literately barbequing a Barbie doll. We don’t see ourselves as Barbies, it’s more like our mildly sarcastic way to say you don’t have to be, act or look like a Barbie doll to be able to be happy and succeed in life.
Kaisa: The name originates from Soundgarden’s music video for “Black Hole Sun”, where a girl barbeques a Barbie-doll. The meaning of the name is perhaps more of a two-sided story: it could be interpretated as a feministic expression or whatever else that happens to come to mind…
RRR: Anything you want the readers of The Rock and Roll Report to know about the Barbe-Q-Barbies?
Kaisa: Keep an eye on our debut album!
For more info check the Barbe-Q-Barbies out on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/barbeqbarbies